Federal Parent PLUS Loan
Parent PLUS Loans are federal loans in the parent's name for their student's educational expenses. These are credit-based loans (requiring an application and subject to a credit check). Only parents of undergraduate students considered dependent for federal aid purposes can apply for this loan.
- Who is eligible to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?
- How do I apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?
- Are there additional requirements parents must complete?
- What do I do if my credit is denied?
- How does my endorser cosign my Parent PLUS Loan?
- How much can I borrow?
- What are differences between the Parent PLUS Loan and private loans?
- Additional Loan FAQs
Who Is Eligible to Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?
The parent is the borrower for the Parent PLUS Loan, and the loan will not transfer to the student. Only parents of undergraduate students considered dependent for federal aid purposes can apply for this loan. The application is subject to a credit check.
Students must also be meeting satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid eligibility to receive the loan.
How Do I Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan?
- The student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- The parent must go to studentloans.gov
- Log in with their (the parent's) Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) - not the student's
- Click "Apply for a Direct PLUS Loan"
- Scroll down to the "Direct PLUS Loan Application for Parents," and click the "Start" button to the right.
The application usually becomes available in late March or early April for the upcoming academic year.Tips:
- Make sure you select the correct aid year at the top of the application (example: fall 2019 and spring 2020 are the 2019-2020 aid year)
- Carefully read the options about in-school and post-enrollment deferment
- Make sure the loan is sent to West Virginia University (not WV State, the hospitals, or Parkersburg)
- Choose the right loan period (example: fall 2019 and spring 2020 would be August 2019 through May 2020)
Are There Additional Requirements Parents Must Complete?
Funds cannot be disbursed to your student's account until all requirements are complete. Borrowers must complete a Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note) for the loan. After you are approved for the loan, you must:
- Log into studentloans.gov with your FSA ID
- Click on "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)"
- Scroll down to "PLUS MPN for Parents" and click on the "Start" button on the right to begin
If your loan application is denied and reinstated (due to an endorser or providing satisfactory documentation to the U.S. Department of Education regarding extenuating circumstances related to an adverse credit history), you must also complete Plus Credit Counseling.
- Log into studentloans.gov with your FSA ID
- Click on "Complete Loan Counseling (Entrance, Financial Awareness, Exit)"
- Click on the "Start" button to the right of "PLUS Credit Counseling" and complete the counseling process
See How Does My Endorser Cosign My Parent PLUS Loan for how an endorser completes the Endorser Addendum.
What Do I Do if My Credit Is Denied?
If the Parent PLUS Loan is denied due to credit history, the U.S. Department of Education will send the parent information about appealing the credit decision or using an endorser/cosigner.
If the parent does not pursue these options, the student may obtain an Additional Unsubsidized Loan of up to $4,000 for the aid year for a freshman or sophomore or up to $5,000 for the aid year for a junior or senior.
Students will be notified via their MIX email regarding how to apply for the additional loan amount.
How Does My Endorser Cosign My Parent PLUS Loan?
If your Parent PLUS Loan is denied and you seek an endorser, they will need to complete the Endorser Addendum.
Before completing the addendum, your endorser will need:
- Their own Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
- The borrower's last name and either the Endorser Code or the Award ID (provided to the borrower via email by the U.S. Department of Education after the loan is denied)
- Endorser's personal information (address, phone number, email)
- Endorser's employer information (name, address, phone number)
- School name (West Virginia University)
- Reference information for two people with different U.S. addresses who have known the endorser for at least 3 years (names, addresses, phone numbers, and relationships to endorser)
To complete the Endorser Addendum, the endorser must:
- Log into studentloans.gov with their FSA ID
- Click on "Complete and Endorser Addendum"
- Fill out the requested information and submit
How Much Can I Borrow?
The maximum amount that can be borrowed in PLUS loans is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid and resources.
To determine the maximum amount that can be borrowed, have your student can:
- Log into portal.wvu.edu with their WVU login
- Click on "Financial Aid Information"
- Click on "Award"
- Select aid year
- Click on "Award Overview Tab"
- Take the "Cost of Attendance" for the year and subtract any anticipated financial aid and outside resources
Please note if a borrower chooses the “maximum loan amount” while completing the PLUS application, the cost of attendance will be increased to accommodate the processing fee. As such, the borrowed amount may be more than anticipated.
If you only want to borrow enough to cover your bill, use your bill to determine amounts or use the Planner to estimate if bills are not yet available. Do not forget to factor in the processing fee (percentage of the loan that the federal government will keep) to ensure you estimate for an accurate disbursed amount.
What Are Differences Between the Parent PLUS Loan and Private Loans?See the Comparing PLUS and Private Loans page for comparison charts.
Additional Loan FAQs
See the Additional Loan FAQs page for information on enrollment requirements, interest rates and fees, and repayment.